Now Christ, Thou Sun of Righteousness • SATB & Organ


NEW CHORAL ANTHEM for Lent, Now Christ, Thou Sun of Righteousness (SATB & Organ) is a setting of Iam, Christe, sol iustitiae traditionally sung at Lauds during Lent. It recognizes the need for repentance and awaits glorious redemption at Easter.

John Dryden’s (1631-1700) beautiful translation is set to lyric, chant-like melodies.

The score is available from The Sacred Music Press, a division of The Lorenz Corporation.

Order • View sample pages:
Octavo • “Now Christ, Thou Sun of Righteousness” (for SATB Choir & Organ)
Listen here • Conducted by Max Murphy:

Msgr. Michael F. Groden’s Contribution to Sacred Music

HE RECENT passing on Christmas Day of Msgr. Michael F. Groden punctuated not only what was, but what is, and what hopefully is yet to come. Something of a “quite lion,” his presence came roaring back as a great reminder of his contributions to the Church, the City of Boston, the liturgy, and the the responsibility we have to continue to build upon this work.

Ordained in the historic year of 1965, he founded the Planning Office for Urban Affairs for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1969. He knew his mind and he knew his sense of mission. He dedicated decades of his life to developing low and affordable housing in Boston. Under his direction, the Planning Office created over twenty-six projects with over 3,000 units of affordable housing in one of the most expensive cities in the country. His life was driven to serve the Church’s mission of caring for the most vulnerable and offering them great dignity and worth. His work was a model of Lex Vivendi; how we live rises forth from our prayer and from our belief. (Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi)

As such, Msgr. Michael Groden was not particularly well known for his liturgical or musical knowledge and interest. (Some of his liturgical malapropisms still bring a smile to our faces.) But what did being a developer, builder, and leader have to do with the sacred liturgy? Apparently, in the case of Fr. Mike Groden, quite a bit.

N 1989 HE WAS NAMED Pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, Boston, a decrepit, dying parish in financial and physical ruins. I can attest to this as this was the same year I entered the Berklee College of Music. My dorm room was perhaps 15 meters from the church.

A 19th Century building with a beautiful acoustic, the church had a partially functioning and poorly voiced pipe organ. I was hired within a year as organist. Within three years (and hardly out of the fiscal weeds) he took an enormous financial risk by to hiring me at the age of 23 as the full-time director of music. He told another priest “I have no idea how I’m going to pay for this.” He made the decision on faith—and in confidence—that the investment would pay off. Not that I needed such motivation, but knowing what trust was placed in me pushed me that much harder.

Quite curiously, the first full-time employee this developer/builder hired as pastor was a musician. A musician? Really? Yes.

Why? Good question. I’m not sure I fully have an answer. Msgr. Groden was not noted as a music lover. I don’t believe he attended many concerts. But he understood music as prayer was helping build the parish that desperately needed new life. (Significant early credit is due to my colleague and mentor, David Farwell, whom Msgr. Groden described as a “catalyst” who jump-started life into the parish in the earliest days of his tenure.) Somehow, he understood music and liturgy as the key and therefore the first steps to rebuilding a dying parish.

IS MANAGEMENT STYLE had several critical attributes that lead to success for the music program and the parish. This most important attribute is quite rare: Even if Msgr. Groden didn’t agree with your decision or your work was not his preference, when he saw the fruit it bore, he gave you free reign to build upon your efforts and develop a successful program.

For example, the pipe organ was not of particular interest to him. But when we desperately needed to rebuild the failing instrument, he raised funds and gave his full backing to what became the Smith & Gilbert Organ, dedicated on November 22, 1999. This organ was featured prominently at the 2014 AGO National Convention.

Furthermore, he supported the building of the Antiphonal Division in 2001, critical to enabling a 19th Century architecture to have liturgical flexibility in the 21st Century. Once we could afford it, he also supported hiring section leaders to bring our sacred music to another level. It was up to me to make sure his trust was well placed and the resources well-utilized.

Boston Pilot: Msgr. Michael F. Groden, pastor, urban vicar, planning director

HILE STUDYING ORGAN with James David Christie, I also became hooked on Gregorian Chant. In the 1990s we were routinely singing Gregorian Ordinaries as well as the Gregorian Communion antiphons. This was also side by side, various styles of music of the day. No one thought it was odd or unusual that we sang the true music of the Church during an era not particularly known for such sacred music. Nor do I think any of this was Msgr. Groden’s particular preference. But he knew the music program was growing and with that came his support.

He surrounded himself with competent, self-motivated people. He hired Mark Donohoe and Scott MacDonald, extraordinary colleagues with whom I still work today at St. Cecilia. Once you earned his trust, he had your back and you knew it. You could build upon your work and move the mission forward. This was not only a personal gift, but a pragmatic way to build a community. As a few years passed, we slowly began to realize, this dead parish was not only beginning to flower. It was beginning to thrive.

Interestingly, his liturgical attitudes could be summarized by his approach as the macro-manger he was: observing the Church’s vast history, he had no interest in the latest liturgical fads and experimentation. This was perhaps a shrewd and centered view in an age of overzealous experimentation.

But it would be a gross miscalculation to refer to him as “conservative.” A very complex man who defied labels, he was concurrently simple and straightforward by virtue of possessing enormous self-knowledge. This in turn translated into being an efficient and effective leader.

ERTAIN LEADERSHIP skills indeed made him a powerful force for change and renewal. Perhaps I can name a few. Others who knew him well can certainly name more:

       Know oneself very well—true sense of self
       Dedication to a mission/calling rather that to oneself
       Attract, employ, and support competent people—set them up to succeed
       Ability to separate one’s personal emotions and preferences for the greater good
       Not drawn into political drama or distractions (despite being surrounded by them)
       Spoke the truth despite the consequences
       Expressed genuine gratitude

Msgr. Groden’s dedication to the mission of the Church earned him great respect and loyalty. More importantly, he created an environment in which the sacred liturgy, prayer, and hence the parish could rise from the ashes and experience a renaissance. This set the stage for what was to follow. It models perhaps what is yet to come.

S A YOUNG MUSICIAN, I was deeply fortunate to stumble upon this nurturing environment few will ever experience. Msgr. Groden was consciously or not, a patron of the arts for sacred music. He allowed me room to develop, experiment, compose, and grow. As such, the sacred music program could expand, evolve, and strive for excellence while nurturing the prayer of the community. As the years pass, this gift becomes more and more special.

As such his impact upon our lives professionally and personally is incalculable. I owe him my career, my life, and my family. For all of this I am forever grateful.

Requiscat in Pace
Soli Deo gloria

Kelley & Clark in Concert • St. Patrick’s Cathedral • All Souls Day

EW YORK — Thursday, November 2, 2017 • 7:00 p. m.  • Richard Kelley, trumpet, and composer/organist Richard J. Clark team up again at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City in a concert of American composers Clark, Hovhaness, Pinkham, and Sowerby. In observing All Souls Day—Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, the featured work is Clark’s Requiem pour une américaine à Paris. The concert is free and open to the public.

Richard Kelley, trumpet, has been a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and plays with the Boston Pops. He has performed with artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Ray Charles, Steven Tyler, and James Taylor. He can be heard on a variety of recordings including the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning soundtrack to Disney’s Pocahontas and Stephen Paulus’ Grammy-nominated Concerto for Two Trumpets and Band.

“The career of trumpeter Richard Kelley is not only a testament to the versatility of his instrument, but also to the ability of one individual to excel across the broadest possible range of music.” — Brian McCreath, WCRB

Composer and organist Richard J. Clark’s eclectic appearances range from the Celebrity Series of Boston and the Boston Philharmonic to Jive Records (Sony BMG), Fenway Park, and the New York Songwriter Circle at the historic Bitter End in Greenwich Village. Clark’s compositions have been heard worldwide including performances under the baton of Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, The American Boychoir, EWTN, SiriusXM, and the Russian premiere of Ascent to Freedom by organist Mark Husey. He is the Director of Music & Organist at St. Cecilia Parish, Boston, and St. Mary’s Chapel, Boston College.

These concerts will feature two works composed specifically for Richard Kelley: Pinkham’s Scenes and Clark’s Requiem pour une américaine à Paris. Recorded by Kelley and Clark, Requiem has been featured on SiriusXM’s Sounds from the Spires, various radio programs around the US, and will be performed at Saint-Eustache in Paris in 2018.

Requiem – Order CD
Requiem – Order from iTunes

 

Three Entrance Antiphons for the Celebration of Marriage

EDDINGS ARE a vital part of the sacramental life of the Church. Likewise, the music must reflect the joy of a life with Christ at the center.

The catalyst for this collection of simple Entrance Propers in English was Msgr. Rick Hilgartner. In 2016, I was assisting with music for an FDLC workshop on the Revised Order of Matrimony. During a lengthy discussion on processions, Msgr. Hilgartner suggested singing one of the three antiphons for Marriage in the Roman Missal, all of which he read aloud for emphasis. Another priest turned to me and made a gesture that I should get busy writing. Inspired by my wife, I got to work.

These texts are beautiful, inspiring, and should be sung in their own right. Singing the Entrance Antiphon at a wedding is not simply a liturgically conservative gesture. It is a progressive act—an invocation inviting God to permeate the center of their love. As the couple confers the sacrament upon each other, these texts are a beautiful way to being the Mass. They are a beautiful way to begin life together.

PDF Download:
      * * Three Entrance Antiphons for the Celebration of Marriage • for Assembly, Cantor, SATB, Organ, Trumpet
      * * Congregation inserts are included at the end.

ABOUT THESE SETTINGS
       Designed to work for a Liturgical Procession
       OR sung as a Gathering Song after the more typical procession
       All are in the key of D to transition easily from any number of common processional pieces.
       Antiphons are METERED in 4/4
       The Verses are identical for all three: Psalm 128 — very appropriate for a wedding–and found as the verse for Deus Israel conjugat vos, the Introit from the Graduale Romanum for the Nuptial Mass.
       While choirs are not the norm for weddings, the option is available.
       Given the potential for varied instrumentation at weddings, guitar chords are provided. Although composed for organ and trumpet, these can be adapted for piano and other instruments.

Here are more free scores for weddings compiled and arranged by Jeff Ostrowski.

Finally, here are practice videos for the Nuptial Blessing: Nuptial Blessings • Practice Videos • Order of Celebrating Matrimony

Soli Deo gloria

Kelley & Clark in Concert • Boston Preview Event

OSTON — Friday, September 29, 2017 • 7:00 p. m.  • Richard Kelley, trumpet, and composer/organist Richard J. Clark team up again at St. Cecilia Church, Boston in a concert of American composers Clark, Hovhaness, Pinkham, and Sowerby. This concert offers Boston audiences a preview of their upcoming performance at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on All Souls Day (11.2.2017 @7pm). St. Cecilia Church is an extraordinary sacred space with its opulent acoustics and the Smith & Gilbert Organ (IV/53 3,023 pipes.)

Richard Kelley, trumpet, has been a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and plays with the Boston Pops. He has performed with artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Ray Charles, Steven Tyler, and James Taylor. He can be heard on a variety of recordings including the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning soundtrack to Disney’s Pocahontas and Stephen Paulus’ Grammy-nominated Concerto for Two Trumpets and Band.

“The career of trumpeter Richard Kelley is not only a testament to the versatility of his instrument, but also to the ability of one individual to excel across the broadest possible range of music.” — Brian McCreath, WCRB

Composer and organist Richard J. Clark’s eclectic appearances range from the Celebrity Series of Boston and the Boston Philharmonic to Jive Records (Sony BMG), Fenway Park, and the New York Songwriter Circle at the historic Bitter End in Greenwich Village. Clark’s compositions have been heard worldwide including performances under the baton of Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, The American Boychoir, EWTN, SiriusXM, and the Russian premiere of Ascent to Freedom by organist Mark Husey. He is the Director of Music & Organist at St. Cecilia Parish, Boston, and St. Mary’s Chapel, Boston College.

These concerts will feature two works composed specifically for Richard Kelley: Pinkham’s Scenes and Clark’s Requiem pour une américaine à Paris. Recorded by Kelley and Clark, Requiem has been featured on SiriusXM’s Sounds from the Spires, various radio programs around the US, and will be performed at Saint-Eustache in Paris in 2018.

Requiem – Order CD
Requiem – Order from iTunes

When: Friday, September 29, 2017 • 7:00PM

Where: St. Cecilia Church, 18 Belvidere St., BOSTON, Massachusetts 02115
Admission: FREE
Event website: www.stceciliaboston.org
Press Contact: Mark Donohoe
Phone: 617-536-4548 ext. 115
Email: RJC AT rjcceciliamusic DOT com

“That’s not Eucharistic” • Why We Sing the Communion Antiphons

NE SUDAY I received (through a third party, of course) a complaint about what the choir had been singing during communion. We frequently included the proper communion antiphon. The criticism was terse: “That’s not Eucharistic.” Correct. It was not. Well, not directly or in an obvious manner.

But it was.

During the 1990s, my choir had been singing the Communion antiphons from the Graduale Romanum nearly every week, often in addition to another sacred liturgical work. I not only became addicted to singing chant, I was also deeply drawn to the texts. Always from scripture, these texts have been sung during communion for well over a millennium. I always provided translations and the scripture references in a worship aid so that all could meditate on the Word.

The edition we were reading from was Solesmes’ Gregorian Missal for Sundays. Published in 1990, this book provided the propers from the Graduale Romanum, the translations in English, and were adjusted to the Novus Ordo three-year cycle of readings. This publication absolutely transformed my life.

S CHRISTIANS, WE BELIEVE in something rather unusual and perhaps very strange. We believe in the Incarnation—that God “lowered” Himself to dwell among us. (Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; Phil 2:7) The Word of God took human form—the Word made Flesh. We take these words for granted. Do not.

What does this have to do with the Communion Procession? A great deal. The Communion Antiphons, whether from the Gradual Romanum or The Roman Missal (there is a great deal of overlap and some variation) most always point back to the Gospel reading of the Day or Feast.

The Body and Blood of Jesus is made present not only from the bread and wine, but also in the Word. By receiving the Word, we receive Jesus. The Gospel, which is the Good News proclaimed by Jesus who is the Word made Flesh—is in itself an encounter with Jesus.

Saint Cecilia and Why the Word is Preeminent

To sing or meditate on the Gospel and the Word of God while receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus is precisely what the Church intends today, tomorrow, and has intended for over a thousand years. If Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, so too do we embrace the Gospel—the Word while in His presence.

T IS WORTH REMEMBERING that during the early Church, Gregorian Chant and the Roman Rite grew up side by side. Chant is simply elevated text (if highly evolved over a millennium). Just as the Hebrew People sang the Torah for thousands of years (and not simply their favorite songs), so too is the Mass ideally sung.

As a Church, we have become accustomed to singing our favorite songs that comfort us. We have become accustomed to singing exclusively about bread and wine during the Communion Procession—a very good thing! But I would propose that we occasionally dig deeper into the Word of God as sung and prayed by our ancestors in faith. Receive the Word made Flesh. Receive Jesus.

UCH OF THIS was inspired by conversation with Alan Hommerding, Senior Liturgy Publications Editor at World Library Publications. During his visit to Boston for WLP’s “Sing the Seasons” we had time to trade stories, chat about music, life, liturgy, theology, etc. During the choral reading of beautiful and varied new works from WLP, he kindly highlighted the liturgical and theological connection between scripture and Eucharist, and the Church’s need to revisit these Antiphons.

To this end, World Library Publications has published, to date, the following collection of Communion Antiphons with texts from the English translation of The Roman Missal, Third Edition:

  • Communion Antiphons for Advent • SATB, Organ, Assembly
  • Communion Antiphons for the Christmas Season • SATB, Organ, Trumpet, Assembly
  • Communion Antiphons for Lent • SATB, Organ, Assembly
  • Communion Antiphons for Easter • SATB, Organ, Assembly
  • In addition, I have composed antiphons for all of Ordinary Time including Feasts and Solemnities that replace a Sunday. WLP is currently looking at these.

    HAVE COMPOSED THESE AS A BRIDGE in two directions. First, I hope these settings in English can be an introduction to many who have not encountered the propers at Mass. While maintaining the traditional form, these sometimes modal, chant-based works are set with contemporary sensibilities in mind. Furthermore, I hope these settings can be a bridge to inspire more composition in various liturgical styles.

    Secondly, my most sincere hope is that some may put my settings down and consider singing the antiphons from the Graduale Romanum and in doing so, rediscover the transcendent beauty of our traditions. (See Richard Rice’s book Communio.) This music is truly the music of the Roman Catholic Church. It has lived on for centuries upon centuries, gave birth to nearly all of Western Music (although its roots are shared with the East!), and reflects the wisdom of the ages.

    As musicians of the Church, may we all live to serve.

    Soli Deo gloria

    National Anthem • Choral Arrangement for Fenway Park


    RECENTLY, THE SAINT CECILIA PARISH CHOIR, Boston, sang The Star-Spangled Banner at Fenway Park prior to a Red Sox game. I took the opportunity to customize an arrangement that was not only well-suited to the strengths of this choir, but hopefully expresses the dignity, reverence, and passion worthy of our great country. At the very least, we owe a respectful performance to the selfless people who daily place their lives in mortal danger to defend freedoms we may daily take for granted.

    Unfortunately, the National Anthem in America is all too often used as a vehicle to showcase individual performances. Nearly gone are the days in which The Star-Spangled Banner is sung primarily by the entire community in a shared expression. And quite ubiquitous are self-indulgent performances in which the melody is embellished beyond recognition. Among myriad reasons for this is the overwhelming influence of television/media revenue in service of the American culture of entertainment over substance. But we must never forget.

    WITH THIS ARRANGEMENT, I HOPE TO BRIDGE THE GAP between individual performance and respectful tribute. It is based on a standard service version found in several hymnals including the new St. Paul Hymnal, the Hymnal 1982, Worship III, etc. However, I made numerous changes. There are small but calculated adjustments to keep repetition fresh. Then there are significant adjustments, (especially in the second half) to paint the text, e.g., a turning point of the text: “Gave proof through the night that the flag was still there.”

    FREE DOWNLOAD:
    PDF • The Star-Spangled Banner • National Anthem for the United States of America • for SATB Chorus

    VIDEO • ST. CECILIA PARISH CHOIR • FENWAY PARK:

     

    PERFORMANCE NOTES:
    I have clearly marked breaths in the score: commas for relatively shorter breaths, double lines for longer breaths. The tempo should be sprightly enough to easily sing four-bar phases in one breath. To this end, it helps greatly to very slightly crescendo on the half-notes into the next bar on the words “see,” “hailed,” “stars,” etc.

    One of my pet peeves is the common pronunciation of the word “perilous.” This word has a schwa on each of the last two syllables. The sung quarter-note rhythm unfortunately emphasizes the spoken unstressed vowels. This often leads to the word being pronounced: “Peh-RAH-LIS” fight. This annoys me. So, I gave explicit instructions to the choir to pronounce the short “i” and sing, “Peh-ri-lus.” Ironically, it also helps to avoid American “R”s (roll them) in a choral setting (and in such a large venue) to assist with diction.

    Pastorally Imperative: They are all we have.

    ARDINAL SEÁN P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap. recently ordained eight men to the Priesthood on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell, Massachusetts. (The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston is currently under renovation.)

    Please pray for these new priests! Fr. Jason Rinaldo Giombetti, Fr. Pablo Gomis, Fr. Kevin Paul Leaver, Fr. Godfrey Musabe, Fr. Wellington Oliveira, Fr. Joel Americo Santos, Fr. William Paro Joseph Sexton, and Fr. Michael Louis Zimmerman

    FFORDED THE OPPORTUNITY to direct the music for this ordination, I hoped to emphasize to the choir the following:

    What we do is not simply “important” music for an “important” Mass. This is a day that these eight men will carry in their hearts for the rest of their lives. Not only what we sing, but how we sing will have spiritual impact beyond a nice memory. It will help shape their formation.

    Music itself won’t solve any problems or persuade any newly ordained priest to adjust their liturgical inclinations. That’s not the point.

    But music sung in prayer and with joy hopefully permeates their hearts and minds. It can reach the hearts of their family and friends who will support and accompany them throughout their lives. To sing in prayer and with joy is pastorally imperative for they are all we have.

    ERHAPS OF INTEREST, you can watch a video of the Ordination in the Archdiocese of Boston here. We are deeply grateful to Evan Landry for this recording.

    Recording for broadcast is always tricky, especially capturing the true blend of a choir in the room. Mr. Landry did an exceptional job (with omnidirectional microphones) capturing a fairly representative blend of the choir while contending with specific restrictions in space.

    Music of note:

    • 4:15 • INTROIT • Sacerdotes Dei, benedicite, Mode VI • (Marc Demille intones verses) I chose to have men and women sing in unison for a brighter sound, to create a more energetic pronouncement. This was followed by the hymn This Is the Feast of Victory by Hillert.

    • 20:45 • Kyrie and Gloria from the Mass of the Angels (Allesandra Cionco-Dahlberg, soprano)

    • 28:30 • Psalm 23 • Jeffrey Ostrowski (Jaime Korkos, psalmist)

    • 34:15 • Gospel Procession, Alleluia, Theodore Marier

    • 36:24 • The Gospel is beautifully chanted by Rev. Mr. Joseph J. Sanderson

    • 1:07:56 • Litany of the Saints (Marc DeMille Cantor)

    • 1:16:30 • Holy Spirit, Come and Shine Chant, arr. Leo Abbott (Tom Manguem, cantor) and improvisation • repeated at 1:27:25

    • 1:44:00 • Christ the Lord, a Priest Forever, RJC, Ps. 100

    • 1:52:00 • You are My Friends, RJC • Jn. 15:14, Ps. 100

    • 2:27: 40 • Agnus Dei XVI, Byrd/Agnus Dei XVIII

    • 2:30:13 • Sicut Cervus Palestrina

    • 2:33:28 • Adordo Te devote

    • 2:53:45 • THAXTED, O God Beyond All Praising, arr. Richard Proulx

    • 2:59:45 • Processional, Mathias • Dr. Janet Hunt, FAGO, organ

    Photos by George Martell • Archdiocese of Boston

    I Am the Land: A Poem in Memory of Óscar Romero • E. Ethelbert Miller & Richard J. Clark

    ARCH 24TH marks the anniversary of the assassination of Blessed Óscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador. On Sunday, March 23, 1980, the day before his assassination, Romero addressed the soldiers in his homily:

    “En nombre de Dios, pues, y en nombre de este sufrido pueblo, cuyos lamentos suben hasta el cielo cada día más tumultuosos, les suplico, les ruego, les ordeno en nombre de Dios: ¡Cese la represión!”

    “In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression!”

    Listen to a recording of this part of his homily here.

    While Romero was not interested in Liberation Theology, he spoke vehemently against the human rights abuses of the Salvadoran government. He gave voice to those who had no voice: the oppressed, the poor, the victims of abject cruelty. For this, he paid with his life.

    His cause for canonization was opened in 1997 by Pope St. John Paul II. At a standstill for some years, it was furthered in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. On February 3, 2015, Pope Francis decreed that Romero was martyred in odium fidei (“in hatred of the faith”). Romero was then beatified in El Salvador on May 23, 2015.

    N 2016 JENNIFER LESTER, Music Director of the The Seraphim Singers, was intent on commissioning from me a work to honor Óscar Romero. The result was music set to I Am the Land: A Poem in Memory of Óscar Romero by E. Ethelbert Miller (b. 1950).

    The text of the poem is here and below.
    A Spanish translation by Nancy Morejón can be found here.

    Here is a recording of a live performance by the Seraphim Singers in 2016:

    E. Ethelbert Miller writes:

    I Am The Land: A Poem In Memory of Oscar Romero was first published in my collection First Light: New and Selected Poems (Black Classic Press, 1994). It’s one of the few poems I wrote specifically for a public reading.

    The “tone” of the poem echoes the work of Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes and Ernesto Cardenal.

    The work was an outgrowth of my interest in liberation theology. One of the major issues in our world today continues to be poverty. “The people of El Salvador are the people of the world.” This line should connect with everyone. I hope my poem also speaks to the role of the church in our society. The doors of this institution must always remain open, for pilgrims and strangers. Our faith must be made visible. I believe it begins with an open heart. Finally, the poem connects life to land. I wanted to link Oscar Romero to the grass, trees and wind. Even after Romero’s death, one should be able to open a window and inhale his beliefs and memory.

    He who is resurrected is revolutionary.
    He who is resurrected believes in peace.
    This is the meaning of light.
    This is the meaning of love.

    – E. Ethelbert Miller
    March 14, 2017

    From my own program notes: “…Romero’s message is a powerful voice crying out for the voiceless, the oppressed, and the slaughtered. Phrases in a modern harmonized Gregorian Chant style are in complete service of Miller’s text, and therefore Romero’s lifelong example of humble service towards justice and peace.”

    NE OF THE GREAT JOYS of the creative process is to work with and meet great artists who also happen to be beautiful people. Out of Jennifer Lester’s vision came the opportunity to live intimately inside of E. Ethelbert Miller’s words. His poetry evokes images far beyond the vivid emotions on the page. His words elicit further questions, leaving in their wake a burning desire to experience more that has already come alive on the page.

    A man of kindness and vision, Miller’s work lives well beyond his words, flowing into action, exuding a joy of living.

    I Am the Land: A Poem in Memory of Óscar Romero

    I am the land.
    I am the grass growing.
    I am the trees.
    I am the wind, the voice calling.
    I am the poor.
    I am the hungry.

    The doors of the church are open
    as wide as the heart of a man.
    In times of trouble
    here is a rock, here is a hand.

    God knows the meaning of our prayers.
    I have asked our government to listen.
    God is not dead
    and I will never die.

    I am the land.
    I am the grass growing.
    I am the trees.
    I am the wind, the voice calling.
    I am the poor.
    I am the hungry.

    He who is resurrected is revolutionary.
    He who is resurrected believes in peace.
    This is the meaning of light.
    This is the meaning of love.

    The souls of my people are the pages of history.
    The people of El Salvador are the people of the world.

    I am Oscar Romero, a humble servant.
    I am the land.
    I am all the people who have no land.
    I am the grass growing.
    I am all the children who have been murdered.
    I am the trees.
    I am the priests, the nuns, the believers.
    I am the wind, the voice calling.
    I am the poets who will sing forever.
    I am the poor.
    I am the dreamer whose dreams overflow with hope.
    I am the hungry.
    I am the people.
    I am Oscar Romero.

    – E. Ethelbert Miller

    Communion Antiphons for Lent & Easter • NEW • World Library Publications

    I AM PLEASED to announce the release of my Communion Antiphons for Easter with World Library Publications. These thirteen antiphons are set from the English translation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition. All the verses set are those prescribed by Graduale Romanum. On a personal note, this is perhaps my favorite collection to date.

    You may also view and listen to the Communion Antiphons for Lent here or below.

    SCORES FOR EASTER are available in hard copies or digital format:

    Order • View sample pages:
    Octavo • “Communion Antiphons for Easter” (for SATB Choir; Cantor; Assembly)

    “Click & Print” • PDF Download:
    PDF • “Communion Antiphons for Easter” (for SATB Choir; Cantor; Assembly)

    All are chant based.
    Can be sung with cantor or unison schola
    Ample opportunity for optional SATB

    HERE IS A SMALL SAMPLE of recordings—four of the thirteen communion propers are directed by Paul French. French and his singers beautifully captured the joy, movement, and energy of these chant inspired works.

    Order • View sample pages:
    Octavo • “Communion Antiphons for Lent” (for SATB Choir; Cantor; Assembly)

    “Click & Print” • PDF Download:
    PDF • “Communion Antiphons for Lent” (for SATB Choir; Cantor; Assembly)

    HERE YOU CAN LISTEN to recordings of seven of the thirteen communion propers: